I saw this week how, for me anyway, dissatisfaction is not primarily a mental event. Though it may become one afterwards by how I respond in my thinking. I experience it first physically, through my whole body being existentially out of sorts, embodying a sense of rebellion, a flesh and bone rejection of the way the world is. I want the world to either change itself for the better, or simply to go away. Sometimes I sense a exasperated, if not frustrated, desire to remove myself from it. By which I don't mean suicide, but more a wanting to permanently isolate or cut myself off from it. Yet the weightiness of this way of being can assume a very dark mantle, and I often need to find a way to throw it off my scent for a while, otherwise I begin to feel I'm likely to implode (or is it explode?) with the bleakness of it.
Normally I try to distract my attention. Even a sense of purpose, or creativity, through bringing a sense of meaning, however transitory, can also distract from this painful sense of being. It doesn't resolve the essential existential state, just makes it more bearable for a while. Until those moments arise when the streams of invention dry up, or are impeded in some way. Like they have over the last few weeks. No magic incantations, chants or spells, can heal this sore, this way of bearing with being. In a way I just near to cheer up and chill, to take a broader kinder perspective on it. I look around at my world, and I see pain of one sort or another on the faces of most people. We all bear it, or distract ourselves from it, in different ways - using whatever the preferred drug is that deadens the sensation for a while, whether it be shopping, food, drink, sex,TV, DVD's, or the Dharma.
Such things aside, my travail with the physical demands of warehouse work, continues to dominate my weekly experience. Every week things seem to slightly improve, though the discomforting aspects continue to shift around. This week I pulled a muscle in my right knee which was tender and needed nursing for a few days. I no longer feeling utterly exhausted, as I've worked out what was largely causing this. My hip pain flares up occasionally becoming uncomfortable for half an hour or so, then strangely disappears again. I can't quite work out what is going on. I recognise the early signs - I get this cold burning sensation from my hip bone down to my thigh, which turns to in an inflamed hip joint sensation, that can then become painful. It feels as though energy is getting blocked, it might be a trapped nerve, who knows. Such is the nature of my neurotic self-preoccupations with my body at the moment. Not to mention the pain in my little finger joints that maybe incipient rheumatoid arthritis.... ah! I could talk for ages about my minor ailments...but I'll spare you the further dreary recounting of them.
In this state of tiredness, my patience and forbearance is tested, finding myself becoming easily irritated. Recently its been with an individual who appears to want the last word on everything, who, in my perception, seemingly thinks everything I say needs to be corrected or qualified in someway. I've been trying not to cultivate paranoia around this, as I can see it is very much a manifestation of my own, as well as that persons own accumulated negativity. I have, however, started self-censoring what I say when I'm in their company. I seem to have developed a perspective on it, at least so I've overcome the acuteness of my sensitivity. It has, however, heightened awareness of my own behaviour in this area. I've observed how I too can often want to have my personal opinion prevail over someone else's judgement, or want to be the holder of the definitive viewpoint. So I've been practicing keeping my mouth shut much more. It doesn't really matter if my view prevails or not. Its just my subjective opinion. I need, as Sangharashita puts it, to beware of turning my own value judgements into incontrovertible facts.
Weekends have been quite busy recently - a visit to see the parents last week, and a day out at Holkham Bay with the community the weekend before. The latter day was fortunate in that the weather was the last real glimmer of Summer, and was ideal for a picnic and general hanging out together with the chaps. The parental visit, was mostly done out of a sense of dutiful concern that they see me regularly, I don't get much personal satisfaction or enjoyment from it. Though I do get to relax and update myself on the Coronation Street storyline, watch Strictly Come Dancing and Casualty, whether I want to or not.